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augusta battle Rory McIlroy says he'll make Masters charge a family affair

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Rory McIlroy's wife Erica and daughter Poppy will be at Augusta to cheer him on

Rory McIlroy's wife Erica and daughter Poppy will be at Augusta to cheer him on

Rory McIlroy's wife Erica and daughter Poppy will be at Augusta to cheer him on

Rory McIlroy insists he's not "overthinking" the Masters and plans to have his wife and baby daughter in Augusta as he bids to complete the career grand slam.

"I've got enough distractions going on in my life at the minute in terms of a new baby," he told ESPN after practising at the course on Saturday.

"It's almost a nice thing to not have the Masters on your mind 24/7.

"Erica and (baby) Poppy are going to be there, it'll be her first golf tournament. And after getting home each day, it's such a nice thing to be able to get your mind off of golf.

"I've always been better that way. If I let something consume me too much then I start overthinking it. It's just not a good thing. It has been a good distraction that way.

"I'm looking forward to getting myself ready to play some good golf. It's going to be a different tournament, a different Augusta."

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 Rory McIlroy is looking forward to The Masters

Rory McIlroy is looking forward to The Masters

Rory McIlroy is looking forward to The Masters


The four-time major winner played 27 holes at the course with his father Gerry last week and plans to return on Monday to begin his bid for that elusive green jacket.

However, the first November staging of the Masters promises to be very different with no patrons on site and the course considerably softer than usual.

"The greens are exactly the same as they always are," he said. "But for the fairways, it just hasn't been cold enough for the Bermuda to die off. That's going to make things very interesting around the greens. Chipping will be a lot trickier.

"[The fairways], instead of being thin, it can be a little grainy or a thicker patch. But it was soft.

"There were a lot of mud balls and looks like some rain during the week, so that can be an issue. It's just going to play very different. They haven't done anything to the golf course - it's just the way it's playing."

Since blowing a four-shot lead to win the 2011 Masters, carding an 80 to finish 15th, McIlroy had a chance to complete the career grand slam and win his third major in a row in 2015 but finished a career-best fourth.

"There was a lot of hype and everything in that winter and spring that was geared toward trying to win Augusta," he said. "Then the years since then, I've played OK but not good enough except for 2018 [when] Patrick Reed [won], but I didn't capitalise on that opportunity."

With all eyes on favourite Bryson DeChambeau this year and less noise around the event, McIlroy is hoping to get the job done soon.
"The way I look at it I've got two attempts in the next six months," he said, referring to the 2021 Masters in April. "My game is in good shape and I can give myself plenty more chances.”


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